GR11 Hiking

Day 40: The End is in Sight (I Can See the Sea!)

Kilometres walked: 16km  / Total distance: 753km / Elevation gain: 664m / Elevation loss: 531m / Time walked: 3h51min

I’m staying at a big fancy campground where the little backpacking tents are hidden away in a corner behind a row of ugly bungalows. When I wake up -I gave myself the gift of setting no alarm after yesterday’s bad night- it’s raining and I hear the rumble of thunder in the distance. I guess this means the spell of bad weather is still not over, which is extremely unusual as normally the mornings are bright and sunny.

Delay

The plan was to leave kind of early (even without alarm I wake up around 07:00), do half a day walking to the camping near the next town, and arrive there early enough to wash and dry my clothes before any potential afternoon storms. It’s been about two weeks since proper laundry. I’ve only been rinsing things, and it’s definitely time for some soap and hot water. But alas, everything got soaked yesterday and I really don’t feel like packing up in the rain. If the weather patterns are all topsy-turvy, I guess so will be my day.

I eat the two donuts I bought in the camping store yesterday, turn around and sleep some more, and play solitaire on my phone until it finally stops raining around 11:00 which is when I slowly pack up and get moving. Eventually I leave around midday. This is when I would normally eat lunch, but I don’t want to delay departure any further so I just buy a bag of crisps and eat it while walking like a total degenerate. Donuts for breakfast, crisps for lunch. Who cares.

The Sea!

The walk is fine, time goes by quickly. At the top of the climb (which these days is only at 750m or so) I catch my first glimpse of the Mediterranean. It’s a bit hazy, so it’s not quite the vast blue expanse of glittering blue yet, but it’s the end of the hills and then some flatland and then the contours of what is definitely the coastline slowly dissolving in the haze. The sea! The end is in sight, literally! I celebrate by eating a spoonful of peanutbutter as I try to figure out how I feel about this.

It barely shows in the photo but I swear: the sea!

Cork oaks, which is where raw cork is harvested from, grow here too

I arrive at the camping in Maçenet de Cabrenys late afternoon. It’s a nice camping, quiet. Unfortunately it’s too late to wash and dry my laundry. Dark clouds are back and although no rain is predicted, I don’t quite trust the forecast. Unless…”Yes, we have a dryer!” says the girl at the reception. Great! I’m ronna risk transforming my merino shirts into crop tops, but at least they’ll be dry!

I pitch, shower, wash all my things except my sleeping clothes which I now wear to dinner, and go to bed in a tent that smells like softener.

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